Fausto Vitello R.I.P. (Updated)

Fausto Vitello, founder of Thrasher and Independent, passed away this past Saturday. Here’s an article about his life in the SF Chronicle. And a heartfelt letter from his son Tony. Our condolences go out out to his family and friends in this difficult time. Rest in peace, Fausto.

More from Thrasher:

On Saturday, April 22, 2006 Fausto Vitello, President of High Speed Productions, Inc., co-founder of ERMICO Enterprises, and co-creator of Independent trucks, died of a heart attack while riding his bicycle. He was 59.

Fausto Vitello revolutionized the skateboard industry and steered the worldwide popularity of skateboarding through Thrasher magazine. The success of Thrasher led to many publishing and manufacturing ventures, including SLAP skateboard magazine, Deluxe Distribution, Street Corner Distribution, and Juxtapoz art magazine. “He was skateboarding’s saving grace, his son Tony explains in a heart-felt letter on Thrashermagazine.com. “When the industry was in the gutter, he gave it ‘mouth to mouth.’ When corporate types tried to step, he remained independent. He did it all—publish, promote, market, and to top it off, he was a manufacturer.

No one else could have done what this man did. Fausto’s unparalleled drive and attitude came to define both the outlaw spirit of skateboarding and the family nature of the scene. He was truly The Godfather. His integrity and impact on skateboarding and artistic counterculture was a reflection of his character, and he was a character! He was a visionary in every sense of the word. He was a dreamer who made his dreams a reality. He influenced the lives of too many to list.

Privately owned and operated, High Speed Productions, Inc. is a unique company. It is well known that working at HSP is being part of a family. Fausto inspired his employees to run his empire as he would want, and the business will continue in that matter. Fausto was proud that his son, Tony, and his daughter, Sally, joined him in the business. His dream was that together they would carry his vision.

We are a family and we have learned from the best.

His numerous associates, friends, and family will be invited to attend a Celebration of Life service to be announced in the near future, and a celebration it will be.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to:

Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco
Development Office
55 Hawthorne St. #600
San Francisco, CA 94105

Make checks payable to: BGCSF, and indicate Fausto Vitello Memorial on memo line.

All donations will benefit the new Hunter’s Point Clubhouse.